The Early Modern Commons

Search Results for "Horrifying operations"

Showing 41 - 53 of 53

Your search for posts with tags containing Horrifying operations found 53 posts

Amputating the bowels

Browsing an 1869 edition of The Lancet I stumbled across a short news article with this promising headline: A cutting from an American paper gives us an account of a remarkable operation for umbilical hernia, in which the operator,...
From: Thomas Morris on 21 Jun 2016

Saved for posterity

In 1875 the American surgeon Charles Brigham recorded this wince-inducing case from his practice in San Francisco. The details are contained in a volume he published the following year, Surgical Cases with Illustrations. It’s a notable book, one...
From: Thomas Morris on 8 Jun 2016

The dreadful opening

In 1807 the Philadelphia Medical Museum was sent an extraordinary case report by a local doctor who had been ‘sent it by a friend’. Neither he nor anybody else appeared to know who had written the report, so its authenticity is doubtful –...
From: Thomas Morris on 20 May 2016

A head of wheat in the bladder

In December 1871 Dr B. B. Leonard, a general practitioner from West Liberty, Ohio, was summoned to examine ‘J.J.’, a 41-year-old farm worker from a neighbouring village. This is what he subsequently reported to the Cincinnati Lancet and Observer:...
From: Thomas Morris on 1 May 2016

A beetroot up the bottom

On the 19th of May, 1846, a Dr Harris from Harrisville in Virginia was summoned to treat a young man who had got himself into a situation of some delicacy. This is how the doctor reported the case to the Western Journal of Medicine and Surgery: He had...
From: Thomas Morris on 14 Apr 2016

A difficult labour

This blog usually takes a fairly light-hearted approach to its subject: I tend to look for cases which arouse amusement as well as horror. While looking through the archives of the Southern Medical and Surgical Journal  I came across this story...
From: Thomas Morris on 21 Mar 2016

Mütter’s operation – plastic surgery, 19th-century style

In 1855 the editor of the Western Lancet, Dr T. Wood, published an article in his own journal on the subject of plastic (reconstructive) surgery. This clinical sub-discipline was still in its infancy, but a handful of surgeons had achieved wonders in...
From: Thomas Morris on 27 Feb 2016

Putting a patient to sleep (without anaesthetic)

Have you ever wondered how patients in the era before anaesthetics were persuaded to undergo excruciatingly painful operations? The answer – fairly obviously – is ‘with great difficulty’. Some brave souls were able to grit their...
From: Thomas Morris on 16 Jan 2016

The man with the rubber jaw

Maxillofacial surgeons are some of the most ridiculously overqualified people on the planet. In the UK it is compulsory for them to hold degrees in both medicine and dentistry, and they can only practise after well over a decade of training. This enviable expertise...
From: Thomas Morris on 7 Dec 2015

Bleeding you well

More from Lorenz Heister’s surgical textbook Chirurgie, published in 1718, on which I have written before. The practice of bloodletting, also known as phlebotomy, was a staple treatment for millennia and still had influential advocates at the end...
From: Thomas Morris on 23 Nov 2015

The eye-brush

Scarification is a medical practice which was popular until the early nineteenth century and which thankfully has now been consigned to the history books (and blogs).  In concept similar to – but less dramatic than – bleeding, it entailed...
From: Thomas Morris on 16 Nov 2015

The do-it-yourself hernia operation

In the nineteenth century medical attention was a luxury which had to be paid for, and which not all could afford.  What, then, would you do if you were living in abject poverty and developed a serious illness?  Many people put their faith in...
From: Thomas Morris on 2 Nov 2015

Glass half-empty

The remarkable headline above graced the pages of the American Journal of the Medical Sciences in April 1849.  In case you’re wondering, the two injuries are not related: the author just thought he’d put his two most spectacular cases...
From: Thomas Morris on 28 Oct 2015

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